The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) made a last ditch effort on Thursday to save a family’s home from being demolished to make way for the ANR Robinson Airport Expansion by filing an injunction.
A release from the THA said the Commissioner of State Lands received instructions to pause the process of demolishing the Percy’s residence at Crown Point.
Just after 8 am, officers moved into Crompton Trace to execute an eviction order. One man shouted, “My grandfather living here boy!” as he had to be restrained by residents.
A senior official from the Office of the Commissioner of State Lands confirmed three warrants of possession were executed yesterday.
The official noted that several steps were taken before filing the warrants and that offers of compensation were also made by NIDCO.
Workmen could be seen taking furniture out of the home.
Earlier in the day. Chief Secretary Farley Augustine expressed his frustration at the issue.
“So you wrote seven people, but you targeted one this morning,” he said at the post-Executive Council meeting. “In targeting the one, I spent the morning on the phone with the senior State Council trying to work out what the legal position of the THA is on the matter to bring relief to the residents,” he said
A previous injunction was filed by the residents naming the THA as defendants.
One resident, Kenroy Thomas said the Prime Minister did not negotiate properly with the residents. He lashed out at Dr Rowley for not meeting with the people.
“You came here to Tobago, spent a whole week and more playing golf at Magdalena, you never came here one day to speak with residents to see what going on,” Thomas said.
Residents say they are not against moving but not under the current conditions.
“If the Central Government would have created Oropune Gardens for the relocation of people who lived in Piarco at that time, how is it for Tobagonians less is being done?” asked chairman of the Peace Negotiation Movement, Rhonda Hackett.
Augustine said the pay out was too low.
He said, “We want to give the people small change and say go on, go your way with four hundred and something thousand dollars. What can they really rebuild? What house can they really rebuild with that? And none of these things were considered by the commissioner of state lands by the central government or by the THA.”